The United States product safety commission (CPSC) staff conducted a national study on 220 licensed child care settings across the country. The CPSC staff investigated eight product areas with potential safety hazards: cribs, soft bedding, playground surfacing, playground surfacing maintenance, child safety gates, window blind cords, drawstrings in children’s clothing, and recalled children’s products.
At least two third of the childcare settings exhibited at least one of the safety hazards targeted in the study. moreover, at least 31,000 children over the age of four were treated in the emergency room due to injuries obtained in childcare.
To assure that your childcare program is not included in these statistics, here are seven ways to reduce the number of accidents/injuries in your childcare program:
- Remove all pillows from cribs to prevent suffocation. Be sure that a child is not able to get his or her head, arms, hands or feet stuck in between the railings of a crib. Supervise infants while they are napping.
- Check playground daily for proper surface coverage under playground equipment. Use wood or rubber mulch, sand or pea gravel around climbing equipment. This must be maintained to cushion the fall of a child.
- If you have mini blinds, tie the strings up into a not and place up high to prevent strangulation. * Move cribs away from window blinds.
- Children can easily be strangled from strings in their own clothing. Consider creating a policy that will require parents to remove strings from clothing in children under the age of four.
- If you are a home provider, be sure to install safety gates at the entrance of your kitchen and at the top of stair ways.
- Have you checked on recalled products lately? Child equipment is recalled every month and it is vital that you check to see what items have been recalled. moreover, share the information with parents.
- Conduct a safety check in your home or center every morning including: checking the playground for unsafe items, check to see that electrical outlets are covered; remove all damaged toys and materials. Most of all, scan your program for anything thing that will cause harm to a young child.
Now that you have these seven steps to creating a safer environment for children, create a safety plan. Having a safety plan is a sure way to reduce your liability and keep children safe!
With your Child Care Business in Mind!